Four “pillars” of the Sylvan Lake community were honoured when they were presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by MP Earl Dreeshen on behalf of the Town of Sylvan Lake, last Wednesday.
“The medals are a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country,” according to the Governor General’s website. “At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.”
They mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. 60,000 medals are being presented across the country.
“As we reflect on the many causes for celebration this past year, it is fitting to round out the season with today’s event,” said Mayor Susan Samson.
“On behalf of the Town of Sylvan Lake and my council, I cannot think of a better way to celebrate 2012 than to recognize those special individuals who make Sylvan Lake such a great place.”
Samson indicated that all of the recipients have given “extensively of their time and talents to enhance our community and our environment”.
MLA Kerry Towle extended her gratitude and honour to each of the recipients.
MP Earl Dreeshen reflected on the pride that exists “not only in the recipients but also in their families” and the opportunities they pursued to serve the community. The medals are “an opportunity to recognize Canadians from coast to coast for their contributions. All are united by an undeniable commitment to make the place they live a better place for all around them”.
Dreeshen also spoke of an event at Rideau Hall last year where he and his wife talked with the Queen. “Even though it was for a brief few moments, she was one of those people you know are interested in what’s happening in your life. I’m extremely proud of her.”
Following are the citations read for each of the recipients:
Jean Bridge – Jean is a long time resident of Sylvan Lake and a retired school teacher. Jean is a regular volunteer at the Sylvan Lake Archives and helped write the first Sylvan Lake history book, “Reflections”. Jean volunteered for the Sylvan Lake Centennial Celebration committee and brings with her a wealth of local history and stories.
Denise Bignold – Denise is a long time resident of Sylvan Lake who is very active in the community including member of Sylvan Lake Archives, member of Sylvan Lake Lions Club and member of Sylvan Lake’s Centennial Celebrations committee. Denise is instrumental in bringing Sylvan Lake’s rich history to the forefront to be shared and celebrated by all.
Graeme Strathdee – President of Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society, working to preserve the lake’s quality with science based solutions, Graeme is also commissioner of the Central Alberta Peewee Football league and assistant coach of Sylvan Lake Bears football team. He is also involved with Sylvan Lake Sailing Club. He also serves as director of the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Chemical Education Fund for the 2012-13 term.
John Watson – John is a long time manager for public works at the Town of Sylvan Lake. As a lakeside community, John takes great pride and initiative to bring in green solutions that protect the health of the watershed including the lake. John is passionate about water conservation and educating our citizens on how to be green.